How to know when your IT Provider is failing you
When companies contact us about our cloud solutions, we commonly discuss their concerns about managing complex IT environments, controlling costs, and using technology to improve how the business functions. However, one of the most common frustrations we hear is that companies are unhappy with their current IT solution providers.
Outsourcing IT support is a common way for businesses both large and small to manage their IT infrastructure. Organisations outsource to take advantage of a cost-effective solution that includes prompt, efficient service delivered by skilled engineers who communicate effectively. Unfortunately, that is not always the experience they receive. Here is a small sampling of the frustrations that business owners express to us on a regular basis.
First-Call Failure. The client is put on-hold or passed around to different people or departments. Not only do their problems go unresolved, but the attitude of support personnel, to put it mildly, isn’t particularly friendly or helpful.
Failure Beyond the First Call. The experience doesn’t get better. Technicians don’t seem to have the engineering expertise to solve anything but the most routine issues, even after multiple visits. To make matters worse, avoidable problems like scheduling conflicts and shipping delays are all too common. And issues still go unresolved.
Reactive vs. Proactive. Rather than proactively monitoring the customer’s IT environment, companies are often frustrated by providers that seem content to wait for things to go wrong and fix them, which causes costly downtime and disruption for the customer.
Lack of Scalability. Business owners tell us their IT solution provider doesn’t have the depth of resources and skills to support steady growth, much less rapid growth. They can’t handle complex billing, vendor management, or licensing support. Aside from day-to-day-tasks, many providers offer little value in the area of strategic planning. In this scenario, the provider is an obstacle to growth instead of an asset.
Too Many Vendors. IT environments tend to become more complex over time as new tools and capabilities are added. The problem is, organisations end up with too many vendors to contact for different issues, from hardware to connectivity to communication. Few providers have enough depth in their portfolio of solutions, forcing companies to juggle more and more vendor relationships. On the other end of the spectrum, some providers offer a wide range of solutions but from a single vendor, resulting in vendor lock-in, which limits flexibility.
Wasted Money. Companies often end up paying for software/system integration and services that go unused or are unnecessary. And they can’t do anything about it because they’re stuck in a contract that offers no flexibility and hasn’t been customised to suit their specific needs. Meanwhile, critical business needs are left unaddressed.
Blown Budgets. Budgets are blown up because the IT solution provider underestimated the customer’s needs. In many cases, the business signed a bare bones contract and ends up paying unexpected add-on fees for services they thought were included. In addition to blowing up the budget, this creates friction in the relationship right from the start.
What You Should Look for and Expect from an IT Solution Provider. An IT solution provider should offer the right combination of people, technology, and process to ensure your technology and business needs are met. They should provide professional level guidance that you need in order to keep pace with changes in technology.
Is the provider equipped with a comprehensive team of engineering professionals? In addition to a single expert, an IT solution provider should have a diverse team including Network Operations Centre technicians, help desk support, senior network engineers, senior systems engineers, VoIP engineers, and networking engineers. It is important to inquire whether their technicians are in-house employees or outsourced contractors.
Does your current IT solution provider deliver prompt, efficient service? A full-service IT provider will offer proactive monitoring from their Network Operation Centre, rather than simply waiting for problems to occur. Don’t settle for an outdated break-fix model.
Who will you call if you need help? You should have a single point of contact who is accountable for the level of service you receive, not different contacts for different issues. Find out if support is handled in-house or outsourced.
Does the provider offer flexible, customisable solutions? You shouldn’t have to change the way you operate to accommodate an IT solution provider. Maintenance, support, and other services should be tailored to the specific needs of your organisation. As your IT partner they should be working with you to keep your IT costs under control.
Can the provider validate their track record and capabilities? Ask for references. Read case studies. Request a tour of their facility. Ask tough questions. These are all parts of a standard evaluation process.
You shouldn’t settle for an IT solution provider who is failing your organisation. HB Tech is happy to answer these questions and provide you with the technical expertise, strategic guidance, and responsiveness you deserve.